City of Seattle and Amazon Housing Equity Fund Provide Funding Support That Enables $97 Million Purchase of 354 Apartments to Permanently Preserve Units for Renters at 50 – 80% AMI
SEATTLE (October 24, 2022) – Local developer SRM (www.srmdevelopment.com) and the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle (ULMS) (www.urbanleague.org), today announced the permanent preservation of 354 units across six apartment buildings for affordable housing. The $97 million dollar deal would not have been possible without project financing support from Amazon’s Housing Equity Fund and the City of Seattle’s Office of Housing, which creates the opportunity for long-term low-and-middle-income rents.
Located in Seattle’s popular Eastlake, Lower Queen Anne, Roosevelt and West Seattle neighborhoods, the six properties include small efficiency dwelling units (SEDU) and will serve tenants ranging from 50 percent or below of the Area Median Income (AMI) up to 80 percent of AMI. Affordable rents will be preserved for 99 years with increases not exceeding three percent per year for income-qualified residents.
“Addressing our region’s housing affordability crisis requires long-term investments, innovative solutions, authentic community partnerships, and a commitment to creating a livable city for all,” said Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell. “We are bringing a One Seattle approach to maintaining crucial affordable housing by forging this strong partnership with Amazon, the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, and SRM – marshalling resources and working collaboratively to achieve our shared goals.”
“To preserve this number of units at these rents is a once-in-a-blue-moon opportunity,” said SRM Managing Principal of Affordable Housing Conor Hansen. “Bringing brand new units to market can take up to five years, and with rents rapidly rising we knew there was urgent need to preserve affordability now by purchasing these new, high-quality buildings. We would not be here without the vision, strong partnership and commitment from the Urban League, Amazon and the City of Seattle’s Office of Housing. These are the partnerships we need to battle our affordable housing crisis.”
“Preservation of existing affordability is one of the most effective ways to address housing affordability challenges in the Puget Sound and is a key element of our work,” said Catherine Buell, Director of the Amazon Housing Equity Fund. “Public/private partnerships are also essential to creating more affordable housing and we’re thrilled to partner with SRM, the City of Seattle, and the Urban League protect the affordability of these homes.”
Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle CEO Michelle Merriweather added, “We have been looking for opportunities to expand our work in affordable housing and fortuitously connected with SRM as they were looking for partners that could help them in this acquisition. We were all at the right place at the right time to make this size of a deal come together.”
Located across Seattle, the six properties include:
- The Alloy, located in lower Queen Anne at 802 5th Ave N and featuring 68 units;
- Brooklyn 65 at 1222 NE 65th St in the Roosevelt neighborhood and featuring 55 units;
- Luna, featuring 71 units in the Roosevelt neighborhood at 6921 Roosevelt Way NE;
- Track 66, located in Ravenna at 836 NE 66th St and featuring 75 units;
- Vega at 4528 44th Ave SW featuring 58 units in Seattle’s Junction neighborhood; and
- Yale in Eastlake featuring 27 units at 2037 Yale.
All buildings feature sustainable designs and technologies that support a low carbon footprint. The buildings will also continue to be managed by Seattle-based property management firm Redside Partners, LLC.
Innovative Partnerships & Project Financing
As a vertically integrated real estate company specializing in multi-family, senior housing, affordable, and mixed-use development and construction in urban markets across the western United States, SRM is focused on using its expertise, capital, and relationships to build creative partnerships and solutions to create and/or preserve middle income housing.
“SRM had been in previous conversations with Amazon about the Housing Equity Fund opportunities, looking for the right opportunity to work together and make an impact in the Seattle housing market,” Hansen continued. “This project was complicated, but our partners were deeply committed to seeing this through and we’re just glad we could play our part.”
SRM prioritizes partnerships with local non-profit organizations interested in scaling-up housing capacity for working wage residents in urban areas. This opportunity was a natural fit for Urban League’s mission and service area. Urban League will provide Resident Services and will be working in the community to help market the rent-restricted buildings.
Amazon is providing $37.9M in funding as part of the project financing through its Amazon Housing Equity Fund which provides below-market loans and grants to preserve and create affordable homes for individuals and families earning moderate to low incomes. As equal owners, SRM and ULMS will be responsible to oversee the affordability of these buildings over the course of the 20-year Amazon loan and, once the loan is repaid, SRM will donate its ownership share to ULMS so that it may own the properties in perpetuity.
Additionally, the City of Seattle’s Office of Housing, which promotes the improvement and preservation of existing affordable housing, will provide $37.9M in funding —the largest ever loan of this size. The acquisition meets the goals and objectives of the City of Seattle’s Consolidated Plan for Housing & Community Development, with high-quality buildings in locations that the City doesn’t have a major presence in.
Project Partners and Structure
Project team members include SRM Development (project owner), ULMS (project owner), Amazon (financing) City of Seattle (financing), JLL (lender representing Amazon) and Fannie Mae (senior loan provider).
About SRM Development. SRM Development is a privately owned real estate company, specializing in multifamily, senior housing, affordable, and mixed-use development and construction in high barrier, urban markets across the western United States. SRM directly manages all phases of the development process, including land acquisition and design, permit and entitlement, and project construction. Since 1999, SRM has developed or constructed, or has under development, projects totaling approximately 12,000,000 square feet, including over 8,300 residential units and approximately 1,600,000 square feet of commercial space. The principals of SRM have worked together for nearly two decades and have almost 100 aggregate years of experience in real estate investment, development, and construction. SRM’s corporate office is in Spokane, Washington with an additional office located in Kirkland, Washington.
About the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle:
With a vision of equity for all, the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle (ULMS) empowers those we serve by providing programming and services designed to support and encourage self-sufficiency in all aspects of life. Our five areas of focus include advocacy & civic engagement, education, housing, public health and workforce development.